Hands on: Mario Golf: Super Rush


It’s early days yet but in the time I’ve spent playing Mario Golf: Super Rush, the game has managed to do the impossible and get me interested in a sport I know next to nothing about. If the included Story Mode stacks up, then Super Rush could end up being the next great Switch title to add to your library.

Availability

  • UKRRP: £49.99
  • USARRP: $59.99

Introduction

Get ready golf fans, Nintendo’s plucky mascot is back with a whole new golfing adventure in Mario Golf: Super Rush, and he’s brought a bunch of new modes with him.

It’s been a long-wait for a new title in the Mario Golf series. In the time since 2014’s Mario Golf: World Tour released on 3DS, fans have had to sit patiently as the adjacent Mario Tennis titles have received a lot more love from Nintendo.

I have now spent several hours with Mario Golf: Super Rush, and while you can expect my full review very soon, here are my first impressions of the game and whether it has the potential to be one of the best Switch games of 2021.

The Mario Golf: Super Rush visuals are nice and bright, and the hub isn't overbearing

Gameplay

Full disclosure – I am not invested in golf in any way. And yet, it was for that very reason that I was eager to see if it could still win me over.

Luckily for myself, and any other non-golfers who might be interested in adding Super Rush to their Switch library, the game does a great job right off the bat by offering two simple ways to play: via traditional button inputs or motion controls.

Using the former is a case of just lining up your shot with the analogue stick and tapping the A button to allocate the correct amount of power needed. Motions controls are even easier, feeling like a brilliant callback to the days of golfing in Wii Sports, only with vastly improved 1:1 tracking.

Special modes add a little spice to the gameplay

While the bar of entry is thankfully low, there is a lot of detail hiding beneath the service, with factors like club type, wind resistance, terrain and special moves all playing a part in affecting where and how your ball lands. It’s because of the ease of entry, however, that these additional aspects don’t feel daunting, and I’m eager to wrap my head around them over the coming weeks.

Story mode

To give the game some extra weight beyond its core gameplay, Mario Golf: Super Rush does have a fully-fledged story mode. In this campaign you get to play as your chosen Mii character, navigating the ranks of the Mushroom Kingdom’s golf scene, spending time with familiar faces as you try to level up and improve your skills.

As is befitting the laid back tone of the sport it’s based around, Super Rush’s career mode feels rather quaint, starting your journey in a small town that doesn’t look too dissimilar to the opening area of Pokémon Sword and Shield.

A screenshot from from the Mario Golf: Super Rush story mode

While there is some fun to be had in walking around these environments between matches, there isn’t that much to do outside of talk to NPCs who don’t appear to be doing anything else or going anywhere interesting.

Still, the written dialogue that keeps the story moving is cute and engaging to the point that it’s almost impossible to have too much disdain for.

Modes and multiplayer

If you’ve seen the initial trailer for Mario Golf: Super Rush then you’ll know that one of the big additions to the game is ‘Speed Golf’.

In this new event, the worlds of golf and Mario platforming have never felt more intertwined, as players are immediately tasked with chasing after their ball upon hitting hitting it, with a decent amount of platforming involved to get back to your ball as quickly as possible.

On the one hand, the frenetic energy of Speed Golf ensures that it’ll win over anyone who believes that golf on its own is too boring, but it also serves as one of the best ways to enjoy Super Rush with friends.

The Battle Mode can get pretty hectic if you don't pay attention

The game has also taken some inspiration from Mario Kart 8 Deluxe by including its own battle mode. ‘Battle Golf’ matches take place in an arena filled with hazards ranging from wandering Chain Chomps to imposing Thwomps that loom up above.

In my experience so far, it can be a bit tricky to keep tabs on everything that’s going on, but I have a feeling that this will be remedied with further practice. When you do feel a bit more confident in your skills, you can play any of the aforementioned modes online.

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